10 Interesting Facts about the Battle of Somme

These following facts about the Battle of Somme will probably give you much information about what kind of battle this is. The Battle of Somme was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of the River Somme in France. The battle was one of the largest of World War I, in which more 1,000,000 men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history. For further information about this battle, here are some facts about the Battle of Somme you might be interested in.

Facts about the Battle of Somme 1: Franco-British Commitment

A Franco-British commitment to an offensive on the Somme had been made during Allied discussions at Chantilly, Oise in December 1915. The Allies agreed upon a strategy of combined offensives against the Central Powers in 1916, by the French, Russian, British and Italian armies, with the Somme offensive as the Franco-British contribution. The main part of the offensive was to be made by the French Army, supported on the northern flank by the Fourth Army of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).

Facts about the Battle of Somme 2: First Use of the Tank

The battle is notable for the importance of air power and the first use of the tank. At the end of the battle, British and French forces had penetrated 6 miles (9.7 km) into German-occupied territory, taking more ground than any offensive since the Battle of the Marne in 1914. The Anglo-French armies failed to capture Péronne and were still 3 miles (4.8 km) from Bapaume, where the German armies maintained their positions over the winter.

Facts about the Battle of Somme - Battle of Somme

Facts about the Battle of Somme – Battle of Somme

Facts about the Battle of Somme 3: Strategic Development

Allied war strategy for 1916 was decided at the Chantilly Conference between 6–8 December 1915. Simultaneous offensives on the Eastern Front by the Russian army, on the Italian Front by the Italian army, and on the Western Front by the Franco-British armies, were to be carried out to deny time for the Central Powers to move troops between fronts during lulls.

Facts about the Battle of Somme 4: Battle of Verdun

The Battle of Verdun began a week after Joffre and Haig agreed to mount an offensive on the Somme. The German offensive at Verdun was intended to threaten the capture of the city and induce the French to fight an attritional battle, in which German advantages of terrain and firepower would cause the French disproportionate casualties. The battle changed the nature of the offensive on the Somme, as French divisions were diverted to Verdun and the main effort by the French diminished to a supporting attack for the British.

Facts about the Battle of Somme - Battlefield

Facts about the Battle of Somme – Battlefield

Facts about the Battle of Somme 5: Brusilov Offensive

The Brusilov Offensive absorbed the extra forces which had been requested on 2 June by General von Below the Second Army commander, for a spoiling attack on the Somme. On 4 June 1916 Russian armies attacked on a 200 miles (320 km) front, from the Rumanian frontier to Pinsk and eventually advanced 150 kilometres (93 mi), reaching the foothills of the Carpathian mountains, against German and Austro-Hungarian troops of Armeegruppe von Linsingen and Armeegruppe Archduke Joseph.

Facts about the Battle of Somme 6: Tactical Development

The original British Expeditionary Force (BEF) of six divisions and a Cavalry Division, had lost most of the army’s pre-war regular soldiers in the battles of 1914 and 1915. The bulk of the army was made up of volunteers of the Territorial Force and Kitchener’s New Army, which had begun forming in August 1914. Rapid expansion created many vacancies for senior commands and specialist functions, which led to many appointments of retired officers and inexperienced newcomers. You might want to know other facts about the Battle of Stalingrad related to Russian history.

Facts about the Battle of Somme - Casualties

Facts about the Battle of Somme – Casualties

Facts about the Battle of Somme 7: Anglo-French Plan of Attack

British intentions evolved as the military situation changed after the Chantilly Conference. French losses at Verdun reduced the contribution available for the offensive on the Somme and increased the urgency for the commencement of operations on the Somme. The principal role in the offensive devolved to the British and on 16 June Haig had ordered that the objectives were to relieve pressure on the French at Verdun and inflict loss on the enemy.

Facts about the Battle of Somme 8: First Day on the Somme

The first day on the Somme was the first 141 days of the Battle of the Somme and the opening day of the Battle of Albert. The attack was made by five divisions of the French Sixth Army either side of the Somme, eleven British divisions of the Fourth Army north of the Somme to Serre and two divisions of the Third Army opposite Gommecourt, against the German Second Army of General Fritz von Below.

Facts about the Battle of Somme - German soldier

Facts about the Battle of Somme – German soldier

Facts about the Battle of Somme 9: Battle of Albert

The French Sixth Army and the right wing of the British Fourth Army inflicted a considerable defeat on the German Second Army but from the Albert–Bapaume road to Gommecourt, the British attack was a disaster where most of the c. 60,000 British casualties were incurred.

Facts about the Battle of Somme 10: Casualties

The Battle of the Somme was one of the costliest battles of the First World War. The original Allied estimate of casualties on the Somme, made at the Chantilly conference on 15 November 1916, was 485,000 British and French casualties and 630,000 German.

Facts about the Battle of Somme - Western Front

Facts about the Battle of Somme – Western Front

Hope you would find those Battle of Somme facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.

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